A new state TV station in Greece has begun broadcasting a signal. A testcard for EDT, featuring a globe and coloured waves, replaced weeks of black on air.
EDT is intended to take the place of ERT, shut down by the Greek government a month ago. The dramatic closure on June 11, with the loss of over 2,600 jobs, shocked the country and nearly brought down the government.
Employees at ERT have continued to broadcast since then. Staff work for free, putting out programmes, protecting the station’s archive and managing the building.
With the help of the European Broadcasting Union, which hosts the analogue station, they can reach around 65% of the country, as well as livestreaming on the internet. They have about 1.7 million regular viewers.
ERT control room technician, Gabriel Kasimatis dismissed the new channel, saying: “This slate that appeared today, this fake signal, has nothing to do with ERT. And it has nothing to do with the employees of ERT, it has nothing to do with the studios and equipment of ERT. It is a cooperation between the manager named by the authorities and a private provider.”
Staff at ERT question whether the new station has been approved by the state’s broadcasting regulator, and say they are determined to continue transmitting. Many are exhausted, but say they draw courage from the people who attend concerts in front of the building every night.
ERT Journalist, Machi Nikolara said:“We think it is our obligation to keep broadcasting and improving this program because the Greek society has embraced it”.
The new EDT is being broadcast from a private studio and is expected to put out programmes in the next few days.